I thought the moment my water broke would be dramatic and overtly obvious, with my partner rushing around the house grabbing insane things like a toilet plunger, the dog, and a record player. You know, like the movies. Turns out, and to no one's surprise, it was nothing like the movies. My water breaking was way less dramatic, and a lot more frustrating. It also gave me the opportunity become acquainted with the infuriating things your partner will do when your water breaks.
First of all, my water didn't so much as "break" as it "trickled," due to the fact that my amniotic sac had a little leak and needed to be punctured when I went into the hospital. Still, I woke up in the middle of the night to a giant puddle of my own making (that wasn't pee, mind you) and knew it was no ordinary leakage. I was a week past my due date so, to me, there was no question what that uncomfortable puddle was indicating. My husband, on the other hand, though the puddle was a sign that we needed to go back to bed. Not helpful, dear.
I drifted in and out of something loosely resembling sleep for a few more hours, at which point I contacted my doctor who said, "Yes, absolutely go to the hospital. Like, now." I told my husband, "I told you so." This still did not light any kind of fire underneath him. We took a leisurely drive to the hospital, stopping for a breakfast sandwich along the way while he made a few phone calls. In short, this was just one of the many ways in which the reality of my labor and delivery did not measure up to my fantasy (if you could call anything related to giving birth a fantasy). Luckily, my partner stepped up in the "dad department," shortly after the water breaking fiasco. In the end, I suppose it is a good thing that he was the one keeping it calm and collected (and, that egg sandwich was pretty freaking delicious), but that doesn't mean I wasn't a little bit pissed off.
They Question Whether Your Water Has Actually Broken
You could be a week overdue, and still your partner will end up stuck in some magical disbelief that you are, in fact, about to become parents to a tiny person. So, when you feel the undeniable gush that is not, by any means, an uncontrollable pee (as your partner "helpfully" suggests it could be) it could take everything in your power not to want to kick a wall in.
They're Suddenly A Certified OB-GYN
In all the time that you have known your partner, those long and grueling years they spent in medical school have never once come up in conversation. Sure, they accompanied you on a handful of your doctor's appointments, but besides the few moments that you both spent gawking at the ultrasound screen, you're pretty sure your partner was zoned out or playing Candy Crush the rest of the time.
So yeah, you're completely mystified as to how in the last few minutes the person standing next to you has suddenly earned a medical degree, and specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology. You feel that your body is telling you it's time to haul your enormous belly to the hospital or birthing center, but your partner is assuring you that you have all the time in the world, and the wise choice right now would be to hang tight at home, "relax", go back to sleep, or continue watching a movie or basically anything but go see an actual medical professional. Ugh.
They Bring You A Towel
So here you are — having endured countless injustices like morning sickness, unbearable gas, constipation, the poking and prodding of your lady parts at all those doctor's visits, and carrying around a full human inside your body — standing (or lying down) in a puddle of fluids that just came out of your body.
Your partner goes to get you a towel, then goes back to doing whatever they were doing because ew. They're not going to mop that stuff up. If you were laying in bed, they're not going to trade sides with you so you can spend your last few hours (whilst in pre-labor pains) lying on clean sheets. But hey, don't forget the brownie points for your partner having retrieved for you that aforementioned towel. They did that with love.
They Go Back To Sleep. Like, Immediately.
You're wide awake, going over the fact that from this day forward your life will be forever changed. You're thinking about how hours from now, all kinds of things could be happening to your body. What if things go way off the rails from your desired birth plan? What if something goes wrong? What if you (oh please don't let this happen), poop on the delivery table?
But you're partner? Oh, they're fast asleep beside you. The moist area of the bed upon which you lay is not troubling them in the least (because they gave you that towel, remember?). Later, when you ask them how they were able to fall asleep so easily, they will tell you they did it "for you," so that they would have the energy to be your cheerleader throughout labor and delivery. Sure.
They Take Their Time Getting Ready To Leave For The Hospital
You've had your go-bag prepped for weeks for just this occasion, because you knew your water could break at any moment and you wanted to be prepared. What you hadn't anticipated, however, was how slow-moving your partner would be when it was time to go.
So you're just standing there, holding your neatly packed bag and counting the minutes between your contractions, wanting to hit yourself for not having packed the most important go-bag of them all: your partner's.
They Stop For Food On The Way To The Hospital
You'll be the one who is probably not going to be seeing food for the next 24 to 48 hours, but your partner wants to make sure that they get that last bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. You know, before they step out for a quick burger later, when your laboring takes forever and you haven't dilated and your only choice of sustenance is goddamn ice chips.
But here you are, sitting in the car, angry-texting your other mom friends about how insane it is that you are now waiting on not just any bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, but that you had to drive to the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich place that your partner just has to eat at. Ugh again.
They Take A Conference Call On The Way To The Hospital
You get it. Work is important. You are missing precious work hours, too, on this momentous day. But you know what a gal in labor doesn't want to hear on her way to giving birth? Her partner's "work voice" on speaker on the way to the hospital. You, mama-to-be are already annoyed with life and are very, very physically uncomfortable. The fact that your partner is able to concentrate on anything but your singular pain and discomfort is just inconceivable to you.